Desert Cat's Paradise
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." - Proverbs 27:12.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Some of you understand the implications of this, I presume?
Present-day Sanhedrin court seeks to revive ancient Temple rituals - Haaretz - Israel NewsThe present-day Sanhedrin Court decided Tuesday to purchase a herd of sheep for ritual sacrifice at the site of the Temple on the eve of Passover, conditions on the Temple Mount permitting.
Temple sacrifices, sans temple.
You were waiting for a physical temple to be constructed before the sacrifices resumed, perhaps? So was I, although I've become convinced that the wilderness tabernacle model is all that would really be necessary.
But is it even? All that is necessary for the anti-Christ to "make an end of sacrifice" is actual sacrifices based on the biblical model. I would think that celebrating the Passover on the Temple Mount qualifies, no?
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:07 PM | permalink
I am reading here and there women saying to their men, "I am NOT your mother!"Comments
I also detect a mental reservation, fingers crossed behind the back, that says "...except when I CHOOSE to be. Now put down that soda, and take your Phosphatidyl Serine like a good boy!"
Was there something else here?
Fukkit! It wasn't worth it. Not when dealing with irrational, irascible and emotional.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:48 AM | permalink
Hey, nothing quite so exciting as logging on to your options account after-hours and discovering that sometime during the day eleven-thousand dollars vanished from your account!Comments
As of this mid-morning, much of it has returned as the market has bounced out of my strike range.
Nothing to do but tighten the grommet and hang on...
Update 3/1: Another precipitous drop at the opening and a bounce. So far not out of my strike range though. If I pucker any harder I'll pop a hemorrhoid...
Update 3/2: Well no point in puckering anymore--just say "shit..." and go on with life.
Labels: financial ponderings
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:25 AM | permalink
Black White Black White Black WhiteComments
Hot Cold Hot Cold Hot Cold
Love Hate Love Hate Love Hate
No middle ground.
No concept of personal boundaries.
Why won't my husband o-BEY me?!
Forlorn in Felineland"
Has it ever occurred to you that your efforts to control him might be wrong and offensive?
But of course. That's why you fell off the deep end at the other extreme.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:31 AM | permalink
Monday, February 26, 2007
WorldNetDaily: 'Today' touts story 'that could rock Christianity'Comments
Another smear along the lines of the Da Vinci Code, but what gets me is how ridiculous is the location of the purported find. Supposedly found in a suburb of Jerusalem and not at all where one would find the bones of the family of Jesus the Christ, being that he and his family were residents of Nazareth prior to his ministry.
Niggling little detail...
And you certainly wouldn't expect they would suddenly up and decide to tear up roots and become residents of Jerusalem of all places, what with all the upheaval created by his crucifixion and claimed ressurection. You think the Pharisees and Roman authorities didn't have enough to deal with, with just his disciples left behind making the claim? Forty days of his appearing post-ressurection to his followers was quite enough. The very notion that he would have taken up permanent residence in Jerusalem after rising from the dead would be hysterical if there weren't historically and archaeologically and biblically ignorant people going to take this all seriously. I mean really! Not that Jesus, Mary, John, Judas, Joseph, James, etc. weren't all names as entirely common in that day as they are today.
The stretch that some people would make...
Wasn't he supposed to have been crucified and dead and that's it according to unbelievers (if he even existed at all)? Well if he was crucified and dead and buried and then ressurected (!!) and then moved his family to Jerusalem where he married Mary and raised a son, all while the whole world was in an uproar over the new faith that he established with Jersualem at the epicenter...well the mind boggles at what they'll come up with next!
They just can't let go of that "last temptation of Christ" blasphemy. Their fixation on the sexual gives them away.
Jesus...these must be the last days!
"And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins" (1 Cor. 15:17).
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:22 PM | permalink
Confustication and bebotherment!Comments
Option sales on "broad based stock indices" are treated the same as commodity trades (Section 1256). Whoda freakin' thunk?
In theory that makes this easier, because I just report my net loss on the account. I say "in theory" because I already entered every dag-nabbed leg of every dag-nabbed option trade I did this year, by hand, as securities trades (Schedule D).
This also makes it better for me because gains or losses on these Section 1256 contracts are treated as 60% long term capital and 40% short term capital gains or losses, and I have a sizeable long-term gain elsewhere that needs some offsetting.
Let's not make it easy to figure this out though. Oh NO! And I'm a freaking genius. This has got to be beyond the average joe by a mile. How can they enforce a tax code that is nearly incomprehesible to the average person?
"Get an accountant." Yeah yeah. When you need professional help to manage your basic 'obligations' as a citizen, there's something seriously wrong.
And I haven't even gotten into my Section 1031 exchange yet...
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:41 PM | permalink
Friday, February 23, 2007
I ran across this in the comments at JeffyG's place today, and it irked me just a bit: "Faith. It’s not explained. It just is."Comments
So often I see this sort of description of "faith" in the context of one's spiritual and/or religious persuasion--some kind of slap-the-blinders-on, shut-the-brain-off, "Ooga Booga Ah Buh-Leeeve!!" nonsense. Is that your faith? Is that what you're basing the hope of your eternal destiny on?
No, folks. Faith is a little more active than that. It is an act of will. Faith that moves mountains, faith that is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen" can-NOT be something so trite.
Really. Do you think?
Faith is not mere belief, but a having to believe.
I was immediately reminded of this passage from Castaneda's works, from "Tales of Power", as a good illustration from a very different perspective:
Having to Believe
I walked towards downtown on the Paseo de la Reforma. I was tired. The altitude of Mexico City no doubt had something to do with it. I could have taken a bus or a taxi but somehow in spite of my fatigue I wanted to walk. It was Sunday afternoon. The traffic was minimal and yet the exhaust fumes of the buses and trucks with diesel engines made the narrow streets of downtown seem like canyons of smog.
I arrived at the Zocalo and noticed that the cathedral of Mexico City seemed to be more slanted than the last time I had seen it. I stepped a few feet inside the enormous halls. A cynical thought crossed my mind.
From there I headed for the Lagunilla market. I had no definite purpose in mind. I walked aimlessly but at a good pace without looking at anything in particular. I ended up at the stands of old coins and secondhand books.
"Hello, hello! Look who's here!" someone said, tapping me lighdy on the shoulder.
The voice and the touch made me jump. I quickly turned to my right. My mouth opened in surprise. The person who had spoken to me was don Juan.
"My God, don Juan!" I exclaimed and a shiver shook my body from head to toe. "What are you doing here?"
"What are you doing here?" he retorted as an echo.
I told him that I had stopped in the city for a couple of days before venturing into the mountains of central Mexico to search for him.
"Well let's say then that I came down from the mountains to find you," he said, smiling.
He patted me on the shoulder several times. He seemed to be glad to see me. He put his hands on his hips and swelled his chest, and asked me whether or not I liked his appearance. It was only then that I noticed he was wearing a suit. The full impact of such an incongruity hit me. I was dumfounded.
"How do you like my tacuche?" he asked, beaming. He used the slang word 'tacuche' instead of the standard Spanish word 'traje' for suit.
"Today I'm in a suit," he said as if he had to explain, and then pointing to my open mouth he added, "Close it! Close it!"
I laughed absent-mindedly. He noticed my confusion. His body shook with laughter as he turned around so I could see him from every angle. His attire was incredible. He was wearing a light brown suit with pin stripes, brown shoes, a white shirt, and a necktie! And that made me wonder if he had any socks on, or... Was he wearing his shoes without them?
What added to my bewilderment was the maddening sensation I had had that when don Juan tapped me on the shoulder and I turned around, I thought I had seen him in his khaki pants and shirt, his sandals, and his straw hat.
And then as he made me aware of his attire, and as I focused my attention on every detail of it, the complete unit of his dress became fixed as if I had created it with my thoughts. My mouth seemed to be the area of my body which was most taxed by the surprise. It opened involuntarily. Don Juan touched me gently on my chin as if he were helping me to close it.
"You certainly are developing a double chin," he said and laughed in short spurts.
I became aware then that he did not have a hat on, and that his short white hair was parted on the right side. He looked like an old Mexican gentleman; an impeccably tailored urban dweller.
I told him that to have found him there was so unnerving to me that I had to sit down. He was very understanding and suggested that we go to a nearby park.
We walked a few blocks in complete silence and then we arrived at the Plaza Garibaldi; a place where musicians offered their services; a sort of musicians' employment center.
Don Juan and I merged with scores of spectators and tourists, and walked around the park. After a while he stopped, leaned against a wall, and pulled his pants up slightly at the knees. He was wearing light brown socks. I asked him to tell me the meaning of his mysterious apparel. His vague reply was that he simply had to be in a suit that day for reasons that would be clear to me later.
Finding Don Juan in a suit had been so unearthly that my agitation was almost uncontrollable. I had not seen him for several months and I wanted more than anything else in the world to talk with him; but somehow the setting was wrong and my attention meandered around. Don Juan must have noticed my anxiety and suggested that we walk to La Alameda, a more quiet park a few blocks away.
There were not too many people in the park and we had no trouble finding an empty bench. We sat down. My nervousness had given way to a feeling of uneasiness. I did not dare to look at don Juan.
There was a long unnerving pause. Still without looking at him, I said that the inner voice had finally driven me to search for him; that the staggering events I had witnessed at his house had affected my life very deeply, and that I just had to talk about them.
He made a gesture of impatience with his hand and said that his policy was never to dwell on past events.
"What's important now is that you've fulfilled my suggestion," he said. "You have taken your daily world as a challenge, and the proof that you have stored sufficient personal power is the indisputable fact that you have found me with no difficulty whatever at the precise spot where you were supposed to."
"I doubt very much that I could take credit for that," I said.
"I was waiting for you and then you showed up," he said. "That's all I know. That's all any warrior would care to know."
"What's going to happen now that I've found you?" I asked.
"For one thing," he said, "we won't discuss the dilemmas of your reason. Those experiences belong to another time and to another mood. They are, properly speaking, only steps of an endless ladder. To emphasize them would take away from the importance of what's taking place now. A warrior cannot possibly afford to do that."
I had an almost invincible desire to complain. It was not that I resented anything that had happened to me but I craved solace and sympathy. Don Juan appeared to know my mood and spoke as if I had actually voiced my thoughts.
"Only as a warrior can one withstand the path of knowledge," he said. "A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges."
His tone was dry and severe, but his smile was warm and disarming.
"Now that you are here, what we'll do is wait for an omen," he said.
"What kind of omen?" I asked.
"We need to find out whether your power can stand on its own," he said. "The last time it petered out miserably. This time the circumstances of your personal life appear to have given you, at least on the surface, all the necessaries to deal with the sorcerers' explanation."
"Is there a chance that you might tell me about it?" I asked.
"It depends on your personal power," he said. "As is always the case in the doings and not-doings of warriors, personal power is the only thing that matters. So far, I should say that you're doing fine."
After a moment's silence, as if wanting to change the subject, he stood up and pointed to his suit.
"I have put on my suit for you," he said in a mysterious tone. "This suit is my challenge. Look how good I look in it! How easy! Eh? Nothing to it!"
Don Juan did look extraordinarily well in a suit. All I could think of as a gauge for comparison was the way my grandfather used to look in his heavy English flannel suit. He always gave me the impression that he felt unnatural; out of place in a suit. Don Juan, on the contrary, was so at ease.
"Do you think it is easy for me to look natural in a suit?" don Juan asked.
I did not know what to say. I concluded to myself, however, that judging by his appearance and by the way he conducted himself: it was the easiest thing in the world for him.
"To wear a suit is a challenge for me," he said. "A challenge as difficult as wearing sandals and a poncho would be for you. You have never had the necessity to take that as a challenge, though. My case is different. I'm an Indian."
We looked at each other. He raised his brows in a silent question as if asking for my comments.
"The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge," he went on, "while an ordinary man takes everything either as a blessing or as a curse. The fact that you're here today indicates that you have tipped the scales in favor of the warrior's way."
His stare made me feel nervous. I tried to get up and walk, but he made me sit down.
"You are going to sit here without fretting until we're through," he said imperatively. "We are waiting for an omen. We can't proceed without it because it isn't enough that you found me; as it wasn't enough that you found Genaro that day in the desert. Your power must round itself up and give an indication."
"I can't figure out what you want," I said.
"I saw something prowling around this park," he said.
"Was it the ally?" I asked.
"No. It wasn't. So, we must sit here and find out what kind of omen your power is rounding up."
He then asked me to give him a detailed account of how I had carried out the recommendations made by don Genaro and himself about my daily world, and my relations with people.
I felt a bit embarrassed. He put me at ease with the argument that my personal affairs were not private because they included a task of sorcery that he and don Genaro were fostering in me. I jokingly remarked that my life had been ruined because of that task of sorcery; and recounted the difficulties in maintaining my day-to-day world.
I talked for a long time. Don Juan laughed at my account until tears were rolling down his cheeks. He slapped his thighs repeatedly. That gesture, which I had seen him do hundreds of times, was definitely out of place when it was done on the pants of a suit. I was filled with apprehension which I was compelled to voice.
"Your suit scares me more than anything you've done to me," I said.
"You'll get used to it," he said. "A warrior must be fluid, and must shift harmoniously with the world around him; whether it is the world of 'reason', or the world of 'will'.
"The most dangerous aspect of that shifting comes forth every time the warrior finds that the world is neither one nor the other. I was told that the only way to succeed in that crucial shifting was by proceeding in one's actions as if one believed.
"In other words, the secret of a warrior is that he believes without believing. But obviously a warrior cannot just say he believes and let it go at that. That would be too easy. To just believe would exonerate him from examining his situation. A warrior, whenever he has to involve himself with believing, does it as a choice as an expression of his innermost predilection. A warrior doesn't believe. A warrior has to believe."
He stared at me for a few seconds as I wrote in my notebook. I remained silent. I could not say that I understood the difference, but I did not want to argue or ask questions. I wanted to think about what he had said, but my mind meandered as I looked around. On the street behind us there was a long line of automobiles and buses, blowing their horns. At the edge of the park perhaps twenty yards away directly in line with the bench where we were sitting, a group of about seven people, including three policemen in light gray uniforms, stood over a man lying motionless on the grass. He seemed to be drunk or perhaps seriously ill.
I glanced at don Juan. He had also been looking at the man.
I told him that for some reason I was incapable of clarifying by myself what he had just said to me.
"I don't want to ask questions any more," I said. "But if I don't ask you to explain, I don't understand. Not to ask questions is very abnormal for me."
"Please be normal, by all means," he said with feigned seriousness.
I said that I did not understand the difference between believing and having to believe. To me both were the same. To conceive that the statements were different was splitting hairs.
"Remember the story you once told me about your friend and her cats?" he asked casually.
He looked up at the sky and leaned back against the bench, stretching his legs. He put his hands behind his head and contracted the muscles of his whole body. As it always happens, his bones made a loud cracking sound.
He was referring to a story I had once told him about a friend of mine who found two kittens, almost dead, inside a dryer in a laundromat. She revived them, and through excellent nourishment and care groomed them into two gigantic cats, a black one and a reddish one.
Two years later she sold her house. Since she could not take the cats with her, and was unable to find another home for them, all she could do under the circumstances was to take them to an animal hospital and have them put to sleep.
I helped her take them. The cats had never been inside a car. She tried to calm them down. They scratched and bit her, especially the reddish cat, the one she called Max. When we finally arrived at the animal hospital, she took the black cat first. Holding it in her arms and without saying a word, she got out of the car. The cat played with her Pawing her gently as she pushed open the glass door to enter the hospital.
I glanced at Max. He was sitting in the back. The movement of my head must have scared him, for he dove under the driver's seat. I made the seat slide backwards. I did not want to reach under it for fear that he would bite or scratch my hand. The cat was lying inside a depression on the floor of the car. He seemed very agitated. His breathing was accelerated. He looked at me. Our eyes met and an overwhelming sensation possessed me. Something took hold of my body; a form of apprehension, despair, or perhaps embarrassment for being part of what was taking place.
I felt a need to explain to Max that it was my friend's decision, and that I was only helping her. The cat kept on looking at me as if he understood my words.
I looked to see if she was coming. I could see her through the glass door. She was talking to the receptionist. My body felt a strange jolt and automatically I opened the door of my car.
"Run, Max, run!" I said to the cat.
He jumped out of the car, dashed across the street with his body close to the ground like a true feline. The opposite side of the street was empty. There were no cars parked and I could see Max running down the street alone the gutter. He reached the corner of a big boulevard and then dove through the storm drain into the sewer.
My friend came back. I told her that Max had left. She got into the car and we drove away without saying a single word.
In the months that followed, the incident became a symbol to me. I fancied, or perhaps I saw, a weird flicker in Max's eyes when he looked at me before jumping out of the car, and I believed that for an instant that castrated, overweight, and useless pet became a cat.
I told don Juan that I was convinced that when Max had run across the street and plunged into the sewer his 'cat spirit' was impeccable, and that perhaps at no other time in his life was his 'catness' so evident. The impression that the incident left on me was unforgettable.
I told the story to all of my friends. After telling it and retelling it, my identification with the cat became quite pleasurable.
I thought myself to be like Max; overindulgent, domesticated in many ways; and yet I could not help thinking that there was always the possibility of one moment in which the spirit of man might take over my whole being just like the spirit of 'catness' took over Max's bloated and useless body.
Don Juan had liked the story and had made some casual comments about it. He had said that it was not so difficult to let the spirit of man flow and take over;. To sustain it, however, was something that only a warrior could do.
"What about the story of the cats?" I asked.
"You told me you believed that you're taking your chances, like Max," he said.
"I do believe that."
"What I've been trying to tell you is that as a warrior you cannot just believe this and let it go at that. With Max, having to believe means that you accept the fact that his escape might have been a useless outburst. He might have jumped into the sewer and died instantly. He might have drowned or starved to death; or he might have been eaten by rats. A warrior considers all those possibilities and then chooses to believe in accordance with his innermost predilection.
"As a warrior you have to believe that Max made it; that he not only escaped but that he sustained his power. You have to believe it. Let's say that without that belief you have nothing."
The distinction became very clear. I thought I really had chosen to believe that Max had survived; knowing that he was handicapped by a lifetime of soft and pampered living.
"Believing is a cinch," don Juan went on. "Having to believe is something else. In this case, for instance, power gave you a splendid lesson but you chose to use only part of it. If you have to believe, however, you must use all the event."
"I see what you mean," I said.
My mind was in a state of clarity and I thought I was grasping his concepts with no effort at all.
"I'm afraid you still don't understand," he said, almost whispering.
He stared at me. I held his look for a moment.
"What about the other cat?" he asked.
"Uh? The other cat?" I repeated involuntarily.
I had forgotten about it. My symbol had rotated around Max. The other cat was of no consequence to me.
"But he is!" don Juan exclaimed when I voiced my thoughts. "Having to believe means that you have to also account for the other cat. The one that went playfully licking the hands that were carrying him to his doom. That was the cat that went to his death trustingly; filled with his cat's judgments.
"You think you're like Max, therefore you have forgotten about the other cat. You don't even know his name. Having to believe means that you must consider everything, and before deciding that you are like Max, you must consider that you may be like the other cat. Instead of running for your life and taking your chances, you may be going to your doom happily; filled with your judgments."
There was an intriguing sadness in his words, or perhaps the sadness was mine. We remained quiet for a long time. Never had it crossed my mind that I might be like the other cat. The thought was very distressing to me.
A mild commotion and the muffled sound of voices suddenly forced me out of my mental deliberations. Policemen were dispersing some people gathered around the man lying on the grass. Someone had propped the man's head on a rolled up jacket. The man was lying parallel to the street. He was facing east. From where I sat I could almost tell that his eyes were open.
Don Juan sighed.
"What a magnificent afternoon," he said, looking at the sky.
"I don't like Mexico City," I said.
"I hate the smog."
He shook his head rhythmically is if he were agreeing with me.
"I would rather be with you in the desert, or in the mountains," I said.
"If I were you I would never say that," he said.
"I didn't mean anything wrong, don Juan."
"We both know that. It is not what you mean that matters, though. A warrior, or any man for that matter, cannot possibly wish he were somewhere else; a warrior because he lives by challenge; an ordinary man because he doesn't know where his death is going to find him.
"Look at that man over there lying on the grass. What do you think is wrong with him?"
"He's either drunk or ill," I said.
"He's dying!" don Juan said with ultimate conviction. "When we sat down here I caught a glimpse of his death as it circled around him. That's why I told you not to get up. Rain or shine, you can't get up from this bench until the end. This is the omen we have been waiting for. It is late afternoon. Right now the sun is about to set. It is your hour of power. Look! The view of that man is only for us."
He pointed out that from where we sat we had an unobstructed view of the man. A group of curious bystanders were gathered in a half circle on the other side of him opposite us.
The sight of the man lying on the grass became very disturbing to me. He was lean and dark; still young. His black hair was short and curly. His shirt was unbuttoned and his chest was uncovered. He was wearing an orange cardigan sweater with holes in the elbows and some old beat up gray slacks. His shoes, of some undefined faded color, were untied. He was rigid. I could not tell whether or not he was breathing.
I wondered if he were dying as don Juan had said; or was don Juan simply using the event to make a point? My past experiences with him gave me the certainty that somehow he was making everything fit into some mysterious scheme of his.
After a long silence I turned to him. His eyes were closed. He began to talk without opening them.
"That man is about to die now," he said. "You don't believe it, though, do you?"
He opened his eyes and stared at me for a second. His look was so penetrating that it stunned me.
"No. I don't believe it," I said.
I really felt that the whole thing was too easy. We had come to sit in the park, and right there, as if everything were being staged, was a man dying.
"The world adjusts itself to itself," don Juan said after listening to my doubts. "This is not a setup. This is an omen; an act of power.
"The world upheld by reason makes all this into an event that we can watch for a moment on our way to more important things. All we can say about it is that a man is lying on the grass in the park, perhaps drunk.
"The world upheld by will makes it into an act of power which we can see. We can see death whirling around the man setting its hooks deeper and deeper into his luminous fibers. We can see the luminous strings losing their tautness and vanishing one by one.
"Those are the two possibilities opened to us luminous beings. You are somewhere in the middle still wanting to have everything under the rubric of reason.
"And yet, how can you discard the fact that your personal power rounded up an omen? We came to this park after you had found me where I had been waiting for you. You found me by just walking into me: without thinking, or planning, or deliberately using your 'reason'; and after we sat down here to wait for an omen, we became aware of that man. Each of us noticed him in our own way. You with your 'reason'. I with my 'will'.
"That dying man is one of the cubic centimeters of chance that power always makes available to a warrior. The warrior's art is to be perennially fluid in order to pluck it. I have plucked it, but have you?"
I could not answer. I became aware of an immense chasm within myself, and for a moment I was somehow cognizant of the two worlds he was talking about.
"What an exquisite omen this is!" he went on. "And all for you. Power is showing you that death is the indispensable ingredient in having to believe. Without the awareness of death, everything is ordinary; trivial. It is only because death is stalking us that the world is an unfathomable mystery. Power has shown you that.
"All I have done myself is to round up the details of the omen so the direction would be clear to you; but in rounding up the details, I have also shown you that everything I have said to you today is what I have to believe myself because that is the predilection of my spirit."
We looked each other in the eye for a moment.
"I remember a poem that you used to read to me," he said, moving his eyes to the side. "About a man who vowed to die in Paris. How does it go?"
The poem was Cesar Vallejo's "Black Stone on a White Stone." I had read and recited the first two stanzas to don Juan countless times at his request.
I will die in Paris while it rains,
The poem summed up an indescribable melancholy for me.
Don Juan whispered that he had to believe that the dying man had had enough personal power to enable him to choose the streets of Mexico City as the place of his death.
"We're back again to the story of the two cats," he said. "We have to believe that Max became aware of what was stalking him and, like that man over there, had enough power at least to choose the place of his end. But then there was the other cat, just like there are other men whose death will encircle them while they are alone, unaware, staring at the walls and ceiling of an ugly barren room.
"That man, on the other hand, is dying where he has always lived, in the streets. Three policemen are his guards of honor. And as he fades away his eyes will catch a last glimpse of the lights in the stores across the street- the cars, the trees, the throngs of people milling around- and his ears will be flooded for the last time with the sounds of traffic and the voices of men and women as they walk by.
"So you see, without an awareness of the presence of our death there is no power, no mystery."
I stared at the man for a long time. He was motionless. Perhaps he was dead. But my disbelief did not matter any longer. Don Juan was right. Having to believe that the world is mysterious and unfathomable was the expression of a warrior's innermost predilection. Without it he had nothing.
Woo! You read all the way through that. Thank you!
So returning to the Christian concept then, there is no act of power involved in believing what one's senses tell oneself, nor in believing what others around us affirm to be true. That is trivial. One can belee-eve this or that to no effect whatsoever.
In don Juan's world, this act of power, this...more than a deliberate choice, a need to hold a certain thing and not a different thing to be true, is an act of power dependent upon one's personal power.
In the Christian world, we look to the one perfect man, Jesus Christ. Being who he was, fully God and fully man, his will was perfect, his life was lived impeccably, and yet instead of taking this glory for himself and returning to his rightful place in heaven, he laid his life down at the foot of the cross, presenting his power to us as an offering, and thereby making a way available for all who would come.
It is not then through our own power, but through his power that this act is entered into. We recognize that we have no power to change ourselves, no power to believe with a transforming faith. We are cynics and doubters, every one of us to the core. Let no one kid you! If his "faith" is not an act of power, it is nothing!
Having no power in ourselves, save for that tiniest mustard seed--our voice that cries out, "Lord I am willing to believe. Help my unbelief!"-- we present this 'cubic centimeter of chance' as an offering of hope, planted in the fertile blood of his sacrifice on the cross. And the tree of faith that arises from that speck can never be said to be anything short of a miracle--an act of power by the One who is able.
So when I say that my faith is having to believe, it is an act of will against a world that does not look, sound, smell, taste, and feel the way it should. It is a deep conviction, born of the Spirit of God, that "Thy kingdom WILL come, thy will WILL be done on earth, as it is in heaven.", and a firm hope witnessed to by that same Spirit that, though I die, I will yet live to see His glory face to face.
Do you see the power in that?
Having considered how wrong I may be, how I may be a complete deluded fool living an utter lie, and giving up the kingdoms of this world for a packet of beans, yet I stand. I have to believe this, because it is in keeping with the inmost yearnings of my being. And those not even my own, but planted by the one who loves and nourishes me.
Why do you suppose it is that many Christians seem so unshakeable in their faith? In some cases you might write it off to peer-pressure or upbringing or maybe even insidious brainwashing, but not all. Can it be, that having taken the step of planting their tiny seed of faith in fertile soil of Jesus, these people have actually experienced something profound deep in the core of their being? Can it be that something very real actually happens?
Do you dare?
What? You only have heaven to gain and this world to lose.
But...but... "Will you keep the $50 cash, or trade it for what's behind Door Number TWO?"
In a completely different way and on a rather different topic I said it here, and copied for convenience:
I've been accused of being easily deceived in this manner several times in the past. Not true. I see quite well. But I also know that "reality" is often an ugly thing, and die-hard "realists" sometimes seem almost sadistic in their zeal to grind one's nose into it.
And of course, Faith transcends even the power of Engineers!
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:27 PM | permalink
Protein Wisdom has gotten interesting again now that Jeffy G. is back. So go ahead, hit that link a few times to cheer him up. (He's a touchy sort and thinks no one loves him since his traffic slumped while he was away defending himself and his family from a frothing leftist harpy in court.)Comments
Truthfully, the last thing we need is to lose Jeff's voice. He is brilliant as well as eccentric, and is fully capable of giving the most overeducated pseudointellectual liberal blowhard a serious run for their money.
Labels: blogospheric navel-gazing
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:00 PM | permalink
Monday, February 19, 2007
...I emerge from beneath a stack of account statements.Comments
K keeps a tight budget with careful categories for everything, doubtless balanced weekly if not daily.
I just got done updating my accounts and reconciling my statements from over the last twelve months, in preparation for tax time. Yes, it was probably in preparation for *last* year's tax time that I last did so.
This is the year I started a microbusiness, sold and bought property in a Section 1031 exchange, and refinanced the first and second mortgages on my primary residence. And today marks the end of the fifth solid weekend day I spent diggng myself out from under...
Yet to go is straightening out the account where most of my microbusiness transactions occurred, and then beginning the *actual* tax preparation process.
(NO snarky comments permitted. Those tempted to, probably get up at 5 AM daily, do calisthenics and eat oatmeal too. And change their oil every 3000 miles. And rotate their tires every 5000. And keep daily, monthly, yearly and five-year plans up to date. And keep meticulous records of their daily diet and "movements".
Sick sick sick...)
Labels: financial ponderings
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:34 PM | permalink
Audio recording of one *quite* intense worship session that is rather clearly accompanied by an angelic host.Comments
The recording starts out as a typical freeform praise and worship time at a large charismatic/pentecostal church, and then transforms into something quite a bit more.
Angels in Florida church
If you're not from a charismatic background, you might find the first 1/3 of the recording annoying. Oh well. But about a third of the way through the recording (watch the slider bar), listen for the transformation as the first angel voices join in...
More generally about the phenomenon here.
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:40 AM | permalink
Friday, February 16, 2007
The solution appears to be "bump-proof" locks by Medeco or Primus. (Video mention here)
Damn. As if I didn't have enough to worry about.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:10 PM | permalink
It is said that sparrows are a dime-a-dozen.Comments
If so, then joy can be found in few other ways at such a remarkable price.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:17 AM | permalink
Thursday, February 15, 2007Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:52 PM | permalink
Wednesday, February 14, 2007Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:53 PM | permalink
Just one *more* good reason to say "Hell no!!"Comments
ScienceDaily: Vasectomy May Put Men At Risk For Type Of Dementia
Labels: health and lifestyle
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:13 PM | permalink
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
My wife and I were sitting at a table at my high school reunion, and I kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at a nearby table. My wife asks, "Do you know her?"
pic via Cowboy Blob
Labels: felicity and jocularity
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:56 PM | permalink
Monday, February 12, 2007
Afternoon naps 'good for the heart'Comments
MEN who take siestas can lower their risk of death from coronary heart disease by as much as 64 per cent, even when other factors such as diet, age and exercise are taken into account.
Bingo! I take a nap about every other day on average. Now I have another good reason to do so.
Labels: health and lifestyle
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:20 PM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:43 PM | permalink
Friday, February 09, 2007
You know where.Comments
See you Sunday night.
Update, Progress Pics:
Almost...finished assembling the pipe on the booster pad. For lack of one bushing and one MPT adapter, here is where I had to leave it.
The culprit is here. I assumed that since the tank inlet was 1-1/2" that the outlet would also be. But no, it was 2", so I had to cannibalize some parts from elsewhere on the pad to make this connection. This is the problem of being an hour away from the nearest major hardware store. Next time, perhaps, I'll be able to finish it.
Update: See that damp spot below the fitting? I didn't notice it when I took the photo. That is going to *eat* at me until the next time I get out there to check the source. If I have a leak there, I have a lot of undoing and redoing to do...
But the tank is filled with water! It took about five hours to fill Saturday night.
Gluing stacks of 2" PVC pipe together:
Then glued up into longer segments, ready to go as soon as I have the trench open:
Laying out the trench lines:
"Say Desert Cat, wouldn't it be easier to lay out the lines if you didn't have that camper parked right in your way?"
Yea yea, shaddaph! I moved it right after I took this photo.
One for the birds--this is a little wildlife puddle I created with a trickle from the well. This afternoon I watched a female cardinal take a birdbath, and Saturday morning I noticed a fresh rabbit pellet by the edge.
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:58 PM | permalink
I have a difficult time feeling respect for passive people--for people who refuse to take responsibility for who they are, where they are in life, and what their life circumstances are.Comments
Everyone's position in life is a direct result of the decisions and choices they have made up to that point. And failing to actively make a decision, *is* a decision. Leaving your fate in someone else's hands, or the "winds of circumstance" is a choice you've made.
Is that a wise choice?
Some people, whether consciously or unconsciously, seem to believe that will then allow them to carp and moan about how unfairly they've been treated and whine about the things they wish they could have or do, but can't because no one is doing it for them.
Poor little baby.
If you refuse to grow out of diapers, don't be surprised when people think your shit stinks.
Labels: personal responsibility
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:31 AM | permalink
Thursday, February 08, 2007
I hate this.
But what can I say about a free service, after all?
In other news, I think I've decided that I had Asperger's Syndrome as a child. I recall hearing that they worried about my eccentric behavior, that I might have been autistic, but I wasn't really. They didn't know much about Asperger's back then, but it fits me quite well. I wasn't especially clumsy and I didn't have any OCD tendencies, but I would go into my own world where I was comfortable, and didn't want to come out. Extreme shyness--a strong aversion for strangers, strong preference for the familiar, high intelligence but social retardation that lasted into my adult years. And typical for Asperger's I did well in high school and college academically and have largely overcome the disability.
But honestly some of the symptoms such as eye contact avoidance I still have to acknowledge exist. And the tendency to lapse into "Feral Cat's Desolation" under relational duress. And the fact that I have weighed the balance and generally prefer not to pursue relationships outside of the close and the familiar.
Diagnostic Criteria For 299.80 Asperger's Disorder
Yes, and married to someone even flakier. ;-P
Labels: blogger hell
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:34 PM | permalink
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
If I could make every one of y'all read this as a condition of leaving this site, I would:Comments
One Generation Is All They Need
Why is it important? Because this is about total control, and how very easy it would be to achieve.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:56 PM | permalink
Why do I own guns for self-defense, you may ask? Among other things I learned a while back that the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled unequivocally that police forces have no legal obligation to protect citizens!Comments
Shocking? Yes. It was to me. "To Protect, To Serve" is only so much malarkey when push comes to shove.
More here: Legal Snares for the Unwary Law-Abiding Citizen and here: Dial 911 and Die
From the second link:
PERSONAL NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: It was the most shocking thing I learned in law school. We had been studying how, under current law, you can sue for almost anything. You can sue a ladder manufacturer for failing to warn you that you might fall off. You can sue the phone company when a drunk driver crashes into a phone booth that you are using. You can sue your landlord for failing to take enough precautions to deter criminals from harming you on the property. A burglar can sue the homeowner when the crook trips and falls while burgling. In all these cases, the law courts said the product manufacturer, the phone company and the property owner "owed a legal duty" to prevent the accidents or protect the citizen.
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:20 PM | permalink
Monday, February 05, 2007
(clicka to read)
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:50 PM | permalink
"Aieee! The stench of hell is emanating from your crack!"Comments
"You've got the devil in your butt!"
Labels: felicity and jocularity
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:49 PM | permalink
Expanding, expanding, ever expanding in a spiral in the light of being...
Labels: stream of consciousness
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:35 PM | permalink
...they sallied out to their respective cabins, to look at their gardens, etc. While thus divided, the Indians, who had been lying in ambush waiting for such an opportunity, rushed upon them and made prisoners of David Benjamin and his family, including his wife and six children, with some others. In this melee Jonathan Benjamin and his family escaped with their lives by being on the opposite side of the river. David Benjamin, feeling provoked at the thought of being taken prisoner before lie was disarmed, raised his rifle and shot an Indian.who fell off the fence and was supposed to be killed. For this, a few minutes after, he was killed by an Indian with h is tomahawk, at a moment when he was not suspecting danger. For this the chief expressed sorrow when he found his brother was not killed, but only had his arm broken. Our hero-David Benjamin, jr. was the second eldest of this family of children taken prisoners, and who, with their mother, were hurried away into hopeless captivity, as soon its their houses were pillaged and burned. They were probably taken into western New York, as acid's children say their grandmother often told them that they were close to the Canada line, but not in Canada. This family remained prisoners seven years, until the close of the war. One or two of the children having become so accustomed to Indian life, and nearly lost their knowledge of the English language, refused to return to civilized life; among whom was David's only sister, who, after she had married among the Indians and had two children, was recaptured by the whites near the Niagara falls. but was so much dissatisfied with civilized life that she returned to the Indians, and was never again heard of by her friends. Among those who did return were David and two brothers, and their mother, who lived to a great age, and died in Hocking county, Ohio. After their return, they remained on the Susquehanna until David married, in the year 1795, when he, with his mother and one or more brothers, moved to the Northwest Territory, near the mouth of the Muskingum river. Here they remained about four years, when they moved about twenty miles from Marietta, probably in the...Comments
Licking County, Ohio History
Labels: stream of consciousness
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:17 PM | permalink
Insonation: monitoring the effects of cavitation ultrasound on artemia salina larvaeComments
Sublime: But it's better...
You ask a lot of unnecesary questions. Now what are you here for?
You ask a lot of unnecesary questions. Now what are you here for?
You ask a lot of unnecesary questions. Now what are you here for?
You ask a lot of unnecesary questions. Now what are you here for?
Labels: stream of consciousness
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:38 PM | permalink
Awake acid pigeon! Guide your children into Sublime InsonationComments
(right click, saveas, if it doesn't play)
Labels: stream of consciousness
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:19 PM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:25 PM | permalink
Sunday, February 04, 2007
I had no pics from the previous time I was at the San Pedro homestead because of the brain-in-bucket-by-door problem, but here's a synopsis: I unearthed the buried pad, stripped the forms, and dug a trench from the well to the pad. It seemed like I was less productive than usual. It wasn't that I did less, but when I have several things to do that are unrelated to the main project, it feels like I'm making less progress. Last time I also assembled and installed a couple of security lights (someone broke into the mobile home and stole some stuff), and installed a trailer light plug on Doozey so I can pull my utility trailer with the new hitch I had installed.Comments
This weekend, in addition to the pics below I installed a circuit breaker and temporary wiring to the mobile home, and tested a circuit that Dad was having some issues with (it worked fine).
Replumbed the connection at the well for the new waterline:
Installed 2" PVC waterline from the well to the tank and pad location:
Mounted the electric panel on the unistruts and bolted the booster pump to the pad--after much frustration and two demolished drill bits. An el-cheapo bolt sheared off inside the red-head anchor and I tried in vain to drill it out to insert a new one. Two drill bits and three battery packs later I gave up and hammered the new red-head as far in as I could get it and called it good.
Stamped for the ages:
I also glued the couplers on the stack of 2" PVC water pipe that will run from the booster to the mobile home, and glued together the 1-1/2" conduit that will run from the service entrance to the booster sub-panel.
Something surprising I learned about gluing larger diameter PVC--the chemical reaction with the solvent cement will pop the joint right apart if you don't hold that sucka on there for about 30 seconds or so. No kidding! You spooge it on there, let go of it, and poink! It pushes back out. It's fascinating, because I'm not quite sure of the mechanism, though I have some ideas why it does that.
At this rate, I'll be ready to rent that trencher and dig the long trenches for water and electric across the property before very long at all!
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:56 PM | permalink
Friday, February 02, 2007
We have a nice little "warming trend" rolling in for this weekend, and I'm off to build paradise. (Say, given my posts lately, does it show that I'm getting a little stir-crazy? I haven't been there for two weeks now.)Comments
Daisycat (who rarely accompanies me) is taking a friend shooting at the range for the first time tomorrow. The more armed women the better I say, if for no other reason than to gain another right-minded voter.
But of course there are many other good reasons.
So I'm out 'til late Sunday at the earliest. Don't burn the place down with your avalanche of comments in the meanwhile...
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:19 PM | permalink
Constipation is a real pain-in-the-ass.Comments
Labels: felicity and jocularity
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:30 AM | permalink
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Maybe it was the glass of wine I just finished, but this image just set me to screaming laughter:Comments
Hog On Ice
Like Rosie O'Donnell said, 'Ching chong ching, give it a rest.'
Wasn't Trump supposed to sue her for defaming his hair? What's holding that up?
I wonder what happens to that combover during sex. Does it come completely unhinged and flap like a screen door in a hurricane? Imagine the visual effect as it opens and closes. Donald Trump! Ron Howard! Donald Trump! Ron Howard!
Labels: felicity and jocularity
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:39 PM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:49 PM | permalink
What do you call someone who puts little stockings on roosters?Comments
Labels: felicity and jocularity
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:39 PM | permalink
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